Helen Kleberg Groves, whose family owned the world-famous King Ranch, will receive the T. I. "Pops" Harkins Award from the Texas Thoroughbred Association during the TTA's 50th anniversary celebration and annual conference June 23-25 at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott in Marble Falls, Texas. The award is presented by the TTA board of directors for lifetime achievement in the Thoroughbred industry. Groves breeds and campaigns Thoroughbred racehorses alone and in partnership with her daughter, Helen Alexander, owner of Middlebrook Farms near Lexington.
Since 1987, Groves has been a Life Member of the TTA and has supported legislative efforts to benefit horsemen through the TTA political action committee and donated seasons to Commanchero, whom she owns in partnership, to benefit TTA's stallion season auction.The TTA will also honor Gene Palmieri with the 2005 Allen Bogan Memorial Award as TTA member of the year. Palmieri was chosen in light of his extensive efforts in mobilizing TTA members in a grassroots campaign to legalize video lottery terminals (VLTs) at Texas racetracks.
Palmieri, who serves as second vice president on the TTA board of directors, runs a commercial breeding operation at his Silver Spur Ranch in Natalia, Texas, located southwest of San Antonio. He stands two stallions at the 50-acre facility, Crafty and Star Programmer. The Allen Bogan Award is named in honor of the late Texas turf writer and former editor of The Texas Thoroughbred.